Switzerland to support the reform of the civilian security sector in Mali and Ukraine

By Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Switzerland

Today, Switzerland and the European Union (EU) have signed two agreements on Switzerland's participation in EUCAP Sahel Mali, the EU's civilian mission for the reform of the security sector in Mali, and in EUAM Ukraine, the EU advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine. These two agreements form the basis for the secondment of Swiss civilian experts to these missions.

Such secondments extend Switzerland's current commitment to promote peace, democracy and the rule of law to include the Sahel region and Ukraine, contributing to the EU's support for the states concerned to reform their civilian security sectors. The aim of the reforms is to enhance the accountability of the authorities with regard to the civilian security services and improve public confidence in them. The two civilian missions in Mali and Ukraine were launched within the framework of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

EUCAP Sahel Mali was established by the EU at the request of the Republic of Mali in spring 2014 as a civilian training and support mission for the domestic security forces (police, gendarmerie, national guard). The mission's work is to be extended to include border management, migration and combating criminal activity associated with these areas. Switzerland's contribution to the EU's efforts to improve the security situation in the Sahel is in line with its long-standing commitment to promoting peace and development in Mali.

EUAM Ukraine was established with the decision of the Council of the European Union in summer 2014 on the basis of a request by the Ukrainian government. The mission is based in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and supports the responsible Ukrainian authorities with the development of new security strategies and the implementation of comprehensive reform efforts in the areas of police work and the law enforcement and judicial authorities. All the activities of the advisory mission are focused on fighting corruption, promoting respect for human rights and dealing with equality issues. EUAM Ukraine carries out its activities in cooperation with the OSCE. The secondment of one civilian expert complements Switzerland's commitment in Ukraine, which remains considerable following the Swiss chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014.

Switzerland has a long tradition of deploying civilian experts to international missions as part of its peace, human rights and humanitarian policies. They act, for example, as police advisers or specialists in constitutional, customs and border-protection matters, mediation, the rule of law, human rights and humanitarian law, as well as election observers.

Switzerland is regularly invited by the EU to participate in civilian and military CSDP missions. It makes its decisions on a case-by-case basis and in light of its foreign and peace policy priorities. It thus supports the efforts of one of its most important partners in the field of peacebuilding, and contributes to strengthening the rule of law and security in Europe and in its neighbouring regions — which in turn enhances security in Switzerland.